Law School Discussion

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 81 
 on: October 26, 2014, 02:17:56 PM 
Started by Risingwaters01 - Last post by Maintain FL 350
As the previous posters have stated, a 165 LSAT is enough to get you into many law schools even with a lower GPA. Top ranked schools will be out, but it should be sufficient for lower ranked schools.

As far as whether or not you should take additional classes to raise your GPA, it depends on much it will actually change. I doubt if eight additional classes would make much difference. The fact is, a school that isn't going to accept someone with a 2.5 (regardless of LSAT) probably isn't going to accept someone with a 2.7 either.

165 is a good LSAT score, and I'd be wary of retaking unless you really believe you'll do better. You may score lower on a retake.

Here's something you need to consider, no matter where you go:

I was a non-trad student and went to law school while juggling kids and a mortgage. It is an unbelievably difficult grind. Law school makes undergrad look like a joke. The amount of work you will be required to do just to maintain a C average (especially the first year) is overwhelming at first. Your LSAT score indicates that you have the intellectual capability to succeed, but you need to make sure that the obstacles that interfered with your undergrad GPA are resolved before you start.

If you can't dedicate yourself 100% to law school, it won't turn out well. I'm not saying this to be negative, but I have first hand experience with the rigors of balancing law school with other competing obligations. It's something to consider before dropping $30-40k on year's tuition.

You may want to look at part time programs. I went to law school at night and completed my JD in four years instead of three. It's more like 3/4 time instead of part time, but it helps.

Make sure your family is totally on board with the idea, and understands the time commitment you will be required to make. I think a lot of people think they understand what it means, but really don't. Your weekends, holidays, and every spare minute you have will be spent preparing for class and exams. Having a supportive family is very important.

Good Luck with your decision and feel free to message me if you have any questions.   

 82 
 on: October 26, 2014, 11:00:18 AM 
Started by Nimmy - Last post by Groundhog
I don't think an MPA would be of much use to OP, as he already has a JD. If the sole purpose of the degree is to get student internships and an in somewhere while he applies to general government jobs, then it'd be fine and relevant.

But, IMO, best thing for OP to do would be to pick a more specific skill or field he can study at the Master's level or even Bachelor's that will enhance his overall application. Math, engineering, econ, CS, those fields never go out of style and some would even qualify OP for the patent bar if he decides to practice law.

Also, depends on OP's undergrad.

 83 
 on: October 26, 2014, 12:58:36 AM 
Started by Nimmy - Last post by Citylaw
With your military and law background a good degree might be a Master's of Public Administration, which opens the door to being a City Manager or Assistant City Manager etc.


 84 
 on: October 26, 2014, 12:56:25 AM 
Started by Risingwaters01 - Last post by Citylaw
You can get into a number of schools with 2.something GPA and a 165 LSAT score.

With that said there is nothing wrong with a Tier 4 school, and they can open a lot of doors.

When choosing a law school it comes down to the following factors in this order (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about school; (4) Understanding the reality of legal education; and (5) Last and Least U.S. News Rankings.
Remember U.S. News Rankings is nothing more than a for-profit unregulated magazine opinion offering an opinion, and you should not make a life altering choice of where to attend law school based on it.

Then if your ultimate goal is to attend an LLM in taxation the rank of your school does not matter at law, you just need to graduate then seek an LLM. If that is your ultimate goal attend a law school that offers a taxation in LLM. I know New York, San Francisco, and L.A. have schools that offer LLM in taxation.

With that said here is a great article to read when choosing a law school.
http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html

 85 
 on: October 25, 2014, 11:40:12 PM 
Started by Nimmy - Last post by Nimmy
Haven't posted here in several years, but I figure this is the kind of place to ask for opinions and advice.  I'll start with a little background on my situation.

I graduated from law school about 5 years ago and found legal work to be pedantic, boring, and soul crushing.  It's really just not for me at all.  I made the decision to join the military for a number of reasons and have been hiding out here for a few years.  I've deployed overseas, held leadership positions at a low level, and as a result of my service I get to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  It makes sense to me to go back to school after my commitment ends because it's free and I can get a fresh start at something else while using my law degree and military experience to give me a leg up from my peers.

The reason I'm posting here is because I really have no idea what kind of program or degree I should be looking at.  I don't want to spend years and years in school, so it would probably be some kind of 2 years masters program, but beyond that I don't know.  The sort of thing I want to get out of this new degree is that the program has lots of connections with companies where I can work internships while in school and that the industry is something that will be relevant for the next few decades with actual job prospects.  I am not trying to get a useless fine arts degree; academia is not my goal.

Does anyone have any suggestions?  I guess the really obvious answer would be some kind of Public Policy degree at one of the better DC schools, but does anyone have other ideas?

 86 
 on: October 25, 2014, 09:29:58 PM 
Started by Risingwaters01 - Last post by Risingwaters01
Miami88,

Thanks for your response. 165 is my legit score. Your response makes me feel better. I am new to this so forgive me but after reading a few sites, I was under the impression I needed to have as close to a 180 as humanly possible with my GPA. I have to stay local because of my kids and my husband's orders so I only have very limited options for school. I think with a lower 2 GPA the numbers would move faster than if I was closer to a 4.0. All the work I would do would be prior to obtaining my first undergraduate degree. In all fairness, anything that is upward from where my current GPA is would be great. I would just prefer to get undergrad done and move on to the next chapter as quickly as possible.


 87 
 on: October 25, 2014, 09:01:59 PM 
Started by Risingwaters01 - Last post by Miami88
1) GPA

First off, know that LSAC looks at all grades up until you receive your first bachelor's degree. So, if you are trying to raise your GPA, you can only do so before you get that bachelor's degree. Also note they will take into account grades from undergraduate coursework prior to your bachelors.

So, if you can take a few extra courses to boost your GPA prior to graduation, great... BUT, you have to figure out just how big of a bump you will POTENTIALLY get. If we are talking about .5 of a boost, okay... but if its just a 100th of a decimal... probably not going to do much.

And is that 165 a legit LSAT score or a practice score? A 165 + stellar addendum + stellar upward grade trend + lousy GPA is still going to be more than good enough to get you into good law schools - maybe even some money... Lower ranked schools may be willing to look past the GPA b/c of the big boost your LSAT score would give them. And if you have a recent history of strong academic performance, your GPA shouldn't scare them off (that you will drop/flunk out and thereby drop their ranking).

I don't know enough about LLMs to be of much help.

Good luck!

 88 
 on: October 25, 2014, 03:45:25 PM 
Started by Risingwaters01 - Last post by Risingwaters01
Hi all,

I am new to this site but as you can see from the title above I have questions regarding attending a 4 tier law school next fall or doing an additional year of college to raise my GPA. I am an older (early 30s) student who is a military spouse and mother. I have taken the LSAT once and scored 165 however my GPA is currently in the lower 2's. I know everyone is going to say "Well you are not fit with those grades" however I'd like to explain. To make a long story short my husband and I gained full custody of his children from his first marriage. When I say I was not ready for that responsibility I mean that. I really didn't comprehend how emotionally fragile the kids were and how much time and energy that was required to get them to a place of normal functioning .This was especially true having a husband who was literally sent on deployment less than a month after we got custody. For a year and a half I went through depression and an emotional breakdown. I shouldn't have taken classes at that time but I was so caught up on trying to finish school before I turned the BIG 30 that I grew impatient and piled too many things on my plate.

My first question is now that I am back on track and my GPA is slowly rising, should I take my last 8 classes, graduate next summer and then apply to a low ranked law school. Or, should I add a minor to raise my GPA, retake my LSAT and apply to a mid ranked school?

My second question is does attending any tier of law school matter if the ultimate goal is to work for self and obtain an LLM in Taxation ?

Side note - I have a background in the field so this is not a pipe dream for me.

Thanks for all responses. I really appreciate it.

 89 
 on: October 25, 2014, 11:20:09 AM 
Started by iChaseH - Last post by Maintain FL 350
I'm not sure what will happen to each school's ranking, but I don't think it will matter anyway.

Firms and government agencies that currently hire from Penn State/Dickinson will continue to do so even if the school's ranking drops. Once you get away from the handful of elite schools near the top of the rankings scheme, a school's reputation is pretty much local. Local reputations are based more on alumni networks and the school's profile within the immediate region, and less on rankings.

My guess is that Penn State/Dickinson probably has a good local reputation, and that it probably won't change because of USNWR. Honestly, who cares if a school is ranked, say, #64 instead of #51? Most lawyers know that this is a meaningless distinction.

Geography, however, does matter. It matters especially when you are talking about non-elite, local schools. If you want to live and work in Philly, Temple might be a better choice. You'd have much better access to the local market. If western/central PA is your goal, Dickinson might be a better choice.

I would think more about that aspect and less about rankings.

BTW, didn't Dickinson used to be a separate law school which merged with Penn State? I guess they decided to get a divorce.

 90 
 on: October 25, 2014, 02:01:53 AM 
Started by iChaseH - Last post by iChaseH
So recently Penn State Law and Dickinson have decided to become two separate law schools all operating under Penn State's name. The question here is what happens to both Dickinson and Penn State Law's ranking? In 2014 Penn State Dickinson was ranked pretty well at 51. However, what happens now? The rankings aren't going to be out in time for me have before I have to make a decision. I know rankings aren't everything, but I just want to know what in the hell happens now?! Do they both go down in rankings? If so, by how much? Does one go down and the other stay around 51? Really, I'm deciding between Temple and Dickinson...and it's tough. Please answer my question about the rankings then you can rant about choosing Temple over Dickinson or vice versa. I really appreciate your answers!

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